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John Hawkins

At 14 I vividly remember seeing a band called Wizzard on the TV.  The music, and particularly the saxophones sounded and looked fantastic – that was the start. I worked and saved enough one summer holiday and purchased a tenor sax and started learning. I was soon playing in a big band near Southampton.  All the Miller, Nestico stuff.  Great learning experience and then purchased my first baritone.I graduated in 1980 and my career in the railways started.  I played in a number of big bands in Kent and Essex and had my first foray into contemporary music with a band called Heat in East London. In 1987 I moved to Derby, met Sharon and our family came along. I played baritone with the Ockbrook Big Band for a few years and then played with covers bands - LoCommotion, Groove66, and FONO.I currently play with Connector (ska) and the Sensational Hot Rocks Band (rock). Four years ago I started attending Derby Jazz' excellent PLAY JAZZ workshops with Matt Ratcliffe.  What a fantastic experience that has been.  So in 2019 I set up Cuesta Azul an improvisational jazz ensemble with several Derby Jazzers including Fraser Thompson. 

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